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Arch Merrill

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Name  Arch Merrill
Role  Journalist
Died  July 15, 1974

Education  Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Books  The Towpath, Rochester Sketchbook, Stagecoach Towns

Archie Hayes Merrill (August 5, 1894 - July 15, 1974) was an American journalist, author, and poet sometimes called the "Poet Laureate of Upstate New York".

Biography

Arch Merrill was born in Sandusky, New York, near Olean, and attended high school near Buffalo, and in 1915 attended Hobart College in Geneva, New York, for one year, during which time he worked on the student newspaper, The Herald. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1916 and served in France during World War I with Company B, 33rd Engineers. Upon returning to the States in 1919 after the war, Merrill worked short stints as a newspaper journalist in Washington, D.C., Detroit, Michigan, and New York City through 1922. While working in New York he married Katherine Marie Towell. The Merrills had a daughter named Marion who was born in 1923, the year Merrill became a copy reader with the Rochester, New York, newspaper the Democrat and Chronicle. He was a reporter for the Rochester Journal-American from 1927 to 1937, and then returned to the Democrat and Chronicle as assistant city editor, and for the next 27 years, as Merrill recalled, he "held nearly every post in the city news room".

There, in 1939, he began writing the first of an eventual 1,650 stories and columns for the Sunday Democrat and Chronicle, primarily chronicling the history of Rochester and environs. These articles were collected and expanded to form Merrill's long string of non-fiction books. After retiring in 1963, he continued to write his column, "Arch Merrill's History", for 10 more years.

A prolific writer, he was best known for his articles in the Sunday paper on history and folklore of the Genesse Valley and the Finger Lakes of upstate New York. Sometimes called the "Poet Laureate of Upstate New York", he authored a number of books, most of which are collections of his articles. His 1943 A River Ramble is an account of his walk of the entire length of the Genesee River, along with his notes on local history, folk tales, and people he met along the route.

Merrill died July 15, 1974, and is buried in the Brighton Cemetery at the end of Hoyt Place in Rochester.

References

Arch Merrill Wikipedia


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